Even though a third of the world doesn't have access to safe, clean drinking water, most Americans don't have to think twice about grabbing a glass from a faucet or slurping some cool water from a fountain. That carefree attitude might soon be shifting, though. According to Elizabeth Mack, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, nearly 36 percent of American households might not be able to pay their water bills by the year 2022. Basing her projections on current trends -- including the fact that water costs have leaped 41 percent since 2010 -- Mack said that nearly 41 million households could lose water and wastewater services. The price increase stems from several factors, including climate change and an infrastructure badly in need of repair. Mack is urging the government to make more people aware of the problem, with the ultimate goal of finding a viable solution. "Water is a fundamental right for all humans," Mack said. “However, a growing number of people in the United States and globally face daily barriers to accessing clean, affordable water."
What we know about water:
- Glaciers, which cover about 10 percent of the Earth's surface, also hold about 69 percent of all of the fresh water.
- Every day, the world uses 10 billion tons of fresh water. The average American uses around 100 gallons per day.
- Approximately 60 percent of the human body is water; the brain and heart are 73 percent water.